6 Ways to Bring the Exotic Into Your Life and Make Happiness Last

Women in fieldDo you love holidays, don’t you? That’s why you go on them in the first place!

But while you may look forward to going away, actually doing so may not make you as happy as you think, according to researchers in the Netherlands. They found that the boost you get from going away doesn’t last long when you get back home. In fact, if you have found your holiday stressful, or even ‘neutral’ – neither happy nor unhappy – it probably won’t give you a happiness boost at all.

It seems that even travellers who described their trip as relaxing, came back no happier than those who hadn’t been away! One reason for this may be the stress of returning to work and getting back into your normal routine.

Here are six tips to lift your mood if you’ve recently returned from your annual vacation or you’re planning to go soon.

Stay Positive

Stay away from people who habitually bring you down. You know who they are. The same people who made you feel like you needed a holiday to begin with. They won’t have changed, so be choosy about who you want to be part of your life from now on, as it will be hard for your holiday-inspired dreams and ambitions to take flight if you’re surrounded by doubters and downers who push your dreams away. So spend time with positive thinkers, those who are enthusiastic about your ideas, who believe in you and want to see you succeed.

Display Your Treasures

Enjoy remembering your holiday experiences, both alone and with those you shared them with. Make a display of objects and souvenirs that remind you of the people that inspired you, and the places and things you enjoyed while you were away. Put them where you can see them as you pass by and they will bring a smile and a bit of holiday sunshine to your day. For example, I have a piece of red coral on my desk that is my connection with the sea, the ocean and my recent trip to Bali. It helps me relax and day-dream!

Bring the Exotic Home

When you’re back in familiar surroundings, introduce ‘exotic’ experiences into your daily life. When I was fourteen I visited Japan, and ever since then, I eat rice dishes with chopsticks whenever I can. It gives me a thrill and helps me relive my time in Asia. You can do the same by wearing a dress you bought while away, listening to world music or cooking a dish that conjures up those lovely memories.

If you can’t do this easily during the week, make sure you bring colour and fun into your weekends, which will add a new dimension to your week. When you go out, try new foreign restaurants. Take photos of things that catch your attention. Become aware of new patterns in your life. I do that by creating themes that I can develop in various ways. And in business and at work, try finding a new approach to how you do things. Just don’t be complacent. Stay open to new things. Be curious. And never stop learning.

Surround Yourself with Nature

When you live in a big city, it’s easy to spend most of your time indoors and to forget the wonder of seeing new and different plants, birds and animals, as you did when you were away. Don’t let that happen. Stay connected with the planet around you. Bring plants into your environment and enjoy looking after them. When you have the chance, walk in natural surroundings, through woods, by lakes and on the beach, or even just among the fauna and flora of your own garden. I can spend hours watching bees buzzing around the lavender or swans ‘dancing’ on the river on my morning walks. These are simple and easy pleasures, all reminders of our wonderful world.

Turn Your Trip Into a Lasting Legacy

Taking a break is a great time to reassess your life and plan for the future, so keep your dreams alive by doing something straight away on your return to make them happen. It could be the most exciting legacy of your trip away.

Anticipation Creates Happiness

Start planning your next trip as soon as you get back. Those Dutch researchers I mentioned earlier found that planning and thinking about a future trip gives us the greatest happiness of all. So it may be better to take a few short breaks rather than one long one, to increase the anticipation and get the most happiness out of your holidays.

So where would you like to go next? Get those neurons firing and let your imagination run wild!

Author Bio

Maite BaronMaite Barón is a multi-award winning author passionate about courageous leadership, happiness and wellbeing. She is a co-founder of The Corporate Escape, which specialises in helping professionals find their life purpose, rekindle their passion for life and reinvent themselves as business owners. She’s an international speaker and a regular contributor to the influential Huffington Post, Global Banking and Finance Review (GBFR) and Entrepreneur.

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